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Ardmore Park Trails

Puget Sound and Islands

Location

Puget Sound and Islands -- Seattle-Tacoma Area
View map below

Length

1.5 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 170 ft.
Highest Point: 380 ft.

Rating

3.75 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

Bellevue's Ardmore Park offers two connected sections of forest habitat, traversed by easy hiking trails. Here, you can enjoy tall conifers and deciduous trees, ferns and other forest vegetation, and small creeks, giving the illusion that you are some distance away from the surrounding suburbia. You are likely to find a few wildflowers blooming in season, hear woodpeckers, crows and other birds, and see a few energetic squirrels.

You will notice an occasional stump in the park; the area was logged many years ago. But today the forest has recovered and there are many large second-growth trees, and forest wildflowers in season. In late winter and early spring, look for an occasional trillium. In late spring, buttercups are numerous along sunnier edges of the trails, and you are likely to see avens, miner's lettuce, fringe cup, nettles, salal, salmonberry and thimbleberry. A few invasive plants are present too, particularly some Himalayan blackberry, and occasionally ivy and holly.

Note that you have some options in the northern section of the park, and you might enjoy exploring by varying your return route, but be sure and bring a map. The southern section of the park is easier to navigate, as it features one single, long trail.


All trails in the park are surfaced with bark and wood chips, offering a soft footing for hikers and joggers. Occasional short, steep sections are traversed using carefully crafted wooden stairs.

The hike begins near a grassy area next to a small playground, with tall conifers looming up immediately to the south. Signed trails leave from both sides of the playground and come together in 0.1 mile.

Take the trail that begins on the west side of the playground and head toward the tall trees. Just beyond the point where the two trails rejoin, come to a low bridge crossing a moist area that may be dry in summer. At a trail fork just beyond the bridge, head left (the right fork leads out to NE 28th St and another park trailhead.)

The left fork soon wanders out of the northern section of the park onto an apparent continuation of NE 28th St -- but it's a segment that is unpaved, grassy and not used by cars. The trail continues east along the grassy strip for just a short distance before heading back north into the park.

At the next trail junction in the park, turn right. The ongoing tail crosses that grassy continuation of NE 28th St and heads into the southern section of the park. You will cross two small streams on low bridges and, near the second crossing, note a short side trail that leads down to a view of the confluence of two small creeks. It's possible to scramble down a rough bank to reach the stream bed for a closer look. Like all creeks in the park, these are small. In summer they might not be much more than trickles, or could even be dry.

Continue south on the main trail and soon reach the southern end of the park at NE 24th street, where you can turn around and head back to your trailhead. The entire distance from the northern to the southern end of the park is about 0.6 miles. Signposts in the park show the correct mileages. (But a few of the many online pages that mention Ardmore Park get the distance totally wrong, suggesting incorrectly that it is as much as five miles!) Even if you explore the side trails at the northern end of the park, your round trip distance will be at most an easy mile and a half. And it's quite an enjoyable forest walk.

Note: The northern section of Ardmore Park has a number of side trails, and you might find it helpful to download a park trail map from www.bellevuewa.gov/ardmore_trails.htm. This takes two steps: On the right of the illustration, click the link for "Ardmore Park Trails page," and click the link there for "Detailed map of Ardmore Park Trails," NOT the link for "Map / Directions."

 

Ardmore Park Trails

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.6371, -122.1148 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Puget Sound and Islands -- Seattle-Tacoma Area

City of Bellevue

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Guidebooks & Maps

Ardmore Park Trails PDF Map: https://bit.ly/2Ge7s5B

Download a map to plan your hike

Getting There

If you are arriving by car, plan to park near the northern end of Ardmore Park. From Highway 520 in Bellevue, take the exit for 148th Ave NE. Head south and, in one block, turn left onto NE 24th St. In 0.7 mile, turn left onto Bel-Red Rd. In 0.8 mile, turn right onto NE 30th St and continue east. The park will be on your right just east of 168th Ave NE. There is room for about 15 cars to park along the wide curb adjacent to the park. A portable toilet is available next to a small playground. There is no water source.

A few additional parking spots might be found along the dead end streets (168th Pl NE or NE 28th Pl) near the northern end of the park, or along NE 28th St west of 168th Ave NE. The latter two streets offer park trailheads of their own. If you park along any of these residential streets, please be careful not to block access to driveways.

At the trailhead at the southern end of the park, looking out on NE 24th St, parking options are not good, and there are no facilities.

take transit

This trailhead is accessible by bus! Plan your visit by bus using TOTAGO, or consult the schedule for King County Metro route number 249.

There is no bus service along NE 30th St north of the park, but Route 249 runs along NE 24th St and it passes the southern end of the park between 169th and 172nd Aves NE. In this case, you could do the hike in the reverse direction.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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Ardmore Park Trails

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